Interview with John Newport

How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
This is my first time working with Smashwords, so we will have to see. However, reading articles from those who have used Smashwords and the distribution channels that Smashwords works with I think it will be a great benefit to my success as an author.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
It has to be the research I do when going over the story. Although the story is fictional, I want the time period and locations to be as authentic as possible. When writing my "Cadets" series I listened to audio files from 1910 and 1914 to get how they spoke. I then used that for the character dialog. I found the more formal speech pattern people spoke with very interesting.
What are you working on next?
I just finished the first book for the series of Annapolis. I'm now editing the first book for the West Point series.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
This is a trick question isn't it? I like to get out of bed and go to work as I am a peace officer on days I'm not writing. Most people call us cops, or other names as the case might be. Anyway, I find that line of work very rewarding and it also serves as inspiration when I run into character or story problems.
When I'm not at work I get up and almost immediately jump back on the computer to work some aspect of the book I'm working on.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Hmm, well I'm either at my regular job or I'm doing some type of research for the book series. Although, my regular job also serves as a form of research for my books.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Usually I'm after some type of information. I either want to know more about a specific person, place, or time period. I keep digging until I find what I want. Through that process I tend to run across books that don't fit with the topic I am after, but the book peaks my interest. Then, I go ahead, and put that in shopping cart as well. I don't recommend that by the way as it can get rather expensive.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
It was a short story I did in the fifth grade. The teacher was so impressed by it she showed it to other teachers in the school. It was a love story that was about two pages long. I didn't think the stories would be read aloud, but they were, which really embarrassed me. Then when the teacher asked for votes, I got a unanimous vote from the class that surprised me.
What is your writing process?
I tend to think about the main scene before I move to anything else. I work outwards from there setting up each chapter as I go. I use sticky notes with the chapter topic and maybe a short sentence of the main objective of the chapter. Once I have the entire outline of the book finished I start working on the characters a little more because I have a better idea of their beginning and end points within the book. Once all that is finished I can start filling in any gaps I may have. It's virtually the same process I use when writing screen plays.
How do you approach cover design?
This is one I really have a hard time with. As I'm writing I constantly thinking about the cover. I'll do small sketches and makes notes all over the place. I don't want to give away a scene, but I also want to convey the story. All this while also trying to grab a potential readers attention.
I tend to look at top rated books and those that do well within the genre. I take notes and then ask myself what would make me stand out from those? Then, I go back to the drawing board and give everything another try. Once I have a few covers mocked up I send those out and ask people which one would make them pick up a book and what changes they would make. I go through that process until I get a cover design that gets near unanimous votes.
What do you read for pleasure?
Sometimes I do. But, in all honesty I read mainly to gain knowledge on a specific topic. I am always in a learning mode when I'm working on something. People at work actually say I always something going on and ask whether I ever sleep.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I actually use several. I have a Kindle I purchased several years ago. I also have my iPad and iPhone which I use on a more regular basis.
Published 2016-12-24.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Cadets of Annapolis - First Year
Price: Free! Words: 48,660. Language: English. Published: December 24, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Historical » General
Two short years before the trigger that would start World War One, Philip Warren, and Anson Bigelow take on the challenges of their senior midshipmen and the United States Naval Academy to learn what it takes to survive in the new modern academy known as Annapolis.